Welcome to SeaLatin Blog! Your comments on the Latin scene - especially music, dance and politics - are eagerly awaited.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

December 2010

This page is for discussing the Seattle Salsa Calendar’s December 2010 page. Feel free to suggest upcoming events that you think deserve to be listed.

November 2010

This page is for discussing the Seattle Salsa Calendar’s November 2010 page. Feel free to suggest upcoming events that you think deserve to be listed.

October 2010

This page is for discussing the Seattle Salsa Calendar’s October 2010 page. Feel free to suggest upcoming events that you think deserve to be listed.

September 2010

This page is for discussing the Seattle Salsa Calendar’s September 2010 page. Feel free to suggest upcoming events that you think deserve to be listed.

August 2010

This page is for discussing the Seattle Salsa Calendar’s August 2010 page. Feel free to suggest upcoming events that you think deserve to be listed.

July 2010

This page is for discussing the Seattle Salsa Calendar’s July 2010 page. Feel free to suggest upcoming events that you think deserve to be listed.

June 2010

This page is for discussing the Seattle Salsa Calendar’s June 2010 page. Feel free to suggest upcoming events that you think deserve to be listed.

May 2010

This page is for discussing the Seattle Salsa Calendar’s May 2010 page. Feel free to suggest upcoming events that you think deserve to be listed.

April 2010

This page is for discussing the Seattle Salsa Calendar’s April 2010 page. Feel free to suggest upcoming events that you think deserve to be listed.

March 2010

This page is for discussing the Seattle Salsa Calendar’s March 2010 page. Feel free to suggest upcoming events that you think deserve to be listed.

February 2010

This page is for discussing the Seattle Salsa Calendar’s February 2010 page. Feel free to suggest upcoming events that you think deserve to be listed.

January 2010

This page is for discussing the Seattle Salsa Calendar’s January 2010 page. Feel free to suggest upcoming events that you think deserve to be listed.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Jorge Contreras

Jorge Contreras is among the stars who will be performing at the 2009 Seattle Salsa Congress. SeaLatin is pleased to offer you a brief biography, along with some information about private lessons below. Feel free to comment on his bio at the bottom of this page.

Private Lessons

Friday   Saturday   Sunday  
8:00   8:00   8:00  
9:00   9:00   9:00  
10:00   10:00   10:00  
11:00 W 11:00 W 11:00 W
12:00 W 12:00 W 12:00 W
1:00   1:00   1:00  
2:00   2:00   2:00  
3:00   3:00   3:00  
4:00   4:00   4:00  
5:00   5:00   5:00  
6:00   6:00   6:00  
7:00   7:00   7:00  
8:00   8:00   8:00  
W = Teaching a Workshop
P = Performance
E = Evening Dance
L = Booked for Private Lesson
O = Other Commitments

Did you know that many visiting salsa stars offer private lessons? Naturally, you're going to have to contact each salsero to arrange a private lesson. They will also be able to give you all the details.

However, I’ve begun your homework by contacting all the salsa stars who will be offering workshops and performances at the 2009 Seattle Salsa Congress and gathering as much information as they’re willing to share.

I haven’t yet learned if Jorge Contreras will be giving private lessons. All I know is that he’s teaching workshops at 11:30 a.m. on each day of the congress.

I’ll update this post if I learn any details. In addition, Mr. Contreras has been invited to post on this blog occasionally, keeping the community up to date on her availability and any changes to his schedule.

Remember, this is not an official schedule, and Mr. Contreras’ schedule could change. Please contact him if you’re interested in taking a private lesson from him. I don’t have permission to post his phone number or e-mail address, but you can find contact information on his Website.

Please try to schedule lessons as far in advance as possible, and please don’t call him while he’s teaching a workshop or otherwise engaged. If you use this information to help you schedule a private appointment, please let us know. If this project is successful, I may do it again during the next Seattle Salsa Congress.

You can see a Master Schedule indicating which visiting salsa stars are offering private lessons and their general availability here.

Heather Gervais

Heather Gervais is among the stars who will be performing at the 2009 Seattle Salsa Congress. SeaLatin is pleased to offer you a brief biography, along with some information about private lessons below. Feel free to comment on her bio at the bottom of this page.

Private Lessons

Friday   Saturday   Sunday  
8:00   8:00   8:00  
9:00   9:00   9:00  
10:00   10:00   10:00  
11:00   11:00   11:00  
12:00   12:00   12:00  
1:00   1:00   1:00  
2:00   2:00   2:00  
3:00   3:00   3:00  
4:00   4:00   4:00  
5:00   5:00   5:00  
6:00   6:00   6:00  
7:00   7:00   7:00  
8:00   8:00   8:00  
W = Teaching a Workshop
P = Performance
E = Evening Dance
L = Booked for Private Lesson
O = Other Commitments

Did you know that many performers offer private lessons during salsa congresses? Naturally, you're going to have to contact each salsero to arrange a private lesson. They will also be able to give you all the details.

However, I’ve begun your homework by contacting all the salsa stars who will be offering workshops and performances at the 2009 Seattle Salsa Congress and gathering as much information as they’re willing to share.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any information on Heather Gervais yet. However, you can contact her directly via her Website.

Please try to schedule lessons as far in advance as possible, and please don’t call her while she’s teaching a student or otherwise engaged. If you use this information to help you schedule a private appointment, please let Ms. Wild know. If this project is successful, I may do it again during the next Seattle Salsa Congress.

You can see a Master Schedule indicating which visiting salsa stars are offering private lessons and their general availability here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Shani Talmor

A native of Israel, Shani Talmor is a reminder that salsa is a global phenomenon. More than travel around the word in pursuit of her passion, she has lived in Spain, Italy and America’s most celebrated cultural melting pot, New York City.

• Jersey City
• Native of Israel
• Birthday?
Website
• Facebook?
MySpace

Talmor established her name in the global Latin community in 2000 as part of the Israeli Salsa Academy “Latino Del Mundo.” Specializing in Cuban style, L.A. style, ladies styling and samba, she moved to Spain at age twenty and joined the famous salsa dance company “Imperio Azteca,” directed by Johnny Vazquez and Ramon Morales. After her first year, Talmor became the group’s principal female dancer and Johnny’s permanent dance partner.

After Imperio Azteca was voted “Best Group of the Year: 2004” by the European salsa community, the group moved to Italy (2005), where it became part of “Academia Latina,” located in Caravaggio, Gergamo. Three years later, Talmor moved to New York City to be part of Caribbean Soul Dance Co., directed by Ismael Otero.

With Ismael, Shani has taken her diverse dance training and sensual style on the road, performing and teaching around the world for approximately three years, taking salsa congresses by storm.

Trained in ballet, jazz, hip hop, samba and Afro-Cuban, Talmor has also found success as a dance teacher. She founded and directs a ladies styling performance team called “Shani’s Girls.”

More recently, Talmor accepted choreographer, dancer and director Sekou Mcmiller’s September 2008 request to join his Latin Jazz project Proyecto Descarga. In that capacity, she performed at the New York City Salsa Congress in 2008 and the Chicago and Puerto Rico salsa congresses in 2009.

Below are a couple videos of Shani Talmor in action.

Ismael Otero & Shani Talmor Free Style Salsa

Ismael Otero & Shani Talmor

Private Lessons

Friday   Saturday   Sunday  
8:00   8:00   8:00  
9:00   9:00   9:00  
10:00   10:00   10:00  
11:30 W 11:00   11:00  
12:00 W 12:00   12:00  
1:00   1:00   1:00  
2:00   2:00   2:00  
3:00   3:00   3:00  
4:00   4:00   4:00  
5:00   5:00   5:00  
6:00   6:00   6:00  
7:00   7:00   7:00  
8:00   8:00   8:00  
W = Teaching a Workshop
P = Performance
E = Evening Dance
L = Booked for Private Lesson
O = Other Commitments

Did you know that many performers offer private lessons during salsa congresses? Naturally, you're going to have to contact each salsero to arrange a private lesson. They will also be able to give you all the details.

However, I’ve begun your homework by contacting all the salsa stars who will be offering workshops and performances at the 2009 Seattle Salsa Congress and gathering as much information as they’re willing to share.

I haven’t yet learned if Shani Talmor will be giving private lessons. All I know is that she’s teaching a workshops at 11:30 a.m. on Friday.

I’ll update this post if I learn any details. In addition, Ms. Talmor has been invited to post on this blog occasionally, keeping the community up to date on her availability and any changes to her schedule.

Remember, this is not an official schedule, and Ms. Talmor’s schedule could change. Please contact her if you’re interested in taking a private lesson from her. I don’t have permission to post her phone number or e-mail address, but you can find contact information on her Website.

Please try to schedule lessons as far in advance as possible, and please don’t call her while she’s teaching a workshop or otherwise engaged. If you use this information to help you schedule a private appointment, please let Ms. Talmor know. If this project is successful, I may do it again during the next Seattle Salsa Congress.

You can see a Master Schedule indicating which visiting salsa stars are offering private lessons and their general availability here.

Luis Aguilar

Luis Aguilar’s background in ballet, jazz, Latin ballroom and Afro-Cuban dance has served him well. He debuted in 2000 with San Francisco’s Salsamania Dance Company, won first place amateur at the 2007 Mayan Salsa Competition, then competed for the professional division with Liz Lira.

• Los Angeles
• Native of...?
• Birthday?
Website
• Facebook?
MySpace

Aguilar has taken first place in many Latin dance competitions and congresses. In 19(?), he teamed up with Anya Katsevman. They reign as two-time undefeated San Francisco Congress Salsa champions, fourth in the ESPN world salsa championships, the current North American Salsa Champions and two-time winners of the New York/New Jersey salsa open. More recently, they placed first at the New York International Salsa Congress. The couple can be seen in the touring show VivaLaSalsa.

Luis Aguilar and Shirley Amador co-direct Tropical Rhythm (Twitter), which won first place among salsa dance teams at the 2008 Mayan Salsa Team Competition in Los Angeles.

Below are some videos of Luis Aguilar.

Luis Aguilar and Anya Katsevman
Luis Aguilar, Anya Katsevman, Nelson Flores, Veronica Castilla

Private Lessons

Friday   Saturday   Sunday  
8:00   8:00   8:00  
9:00   9:00   9:00  
10:00   10:00   10:00  
11:00   11:00   11:00  
12:00   12:00   12:00  
1:00   1:00   1:00  
2:00   2:00   2:00  
3:00   3:30 3:30
4:00   4:00 W 4:00 W
5:00   5:00   5:00  
6:00   6:00   6:00  
7:00   7:00   7:00  
8:00   8:00   8:00  
W = Teaching a Workshop
P = Performance
E = Evening Dance
L = Booked for Private Lesson
O = Other Commitments

Did you know that many performers offer private lessons during salsa congresses? Naturally, you're going to have to contact each salsero to arrange a private lesson. They will also be able to give you all the details.

However, I’ve begun your homework by contacting all the salsa stars who will be offering workshops and performances at the 2009 Seattle Salsa Congress and gathering as much information as they’re willing to share.

I haven’t yet learned if Mr. Aguilar will be giving private lessons. All I know is that he’s teaching a couple workshops at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

I’ll update this post if I learn any details. In addition, Mr. Aguilar has been invited to post on this blog occasionally, keeping the community up to date on his availability and any changes to his schedule.

Remember, this is not an official schedule, and Mr. Aguilar’s schedule could change. Please contact him if you’re interested in taking a private lesson from him. I don’t have permission to post him phone number or e-mail address, but you can find contact information on his Website.

Please try to schedule lessons as far in advance as possible, and please don’t call him while he’s teaching a workshop or otherwise engaged. If you use this information to help you schedule a private appointment, please let Mr. Aguilar know. If this project is successful, I may do it again during the next Seattle Salsa Congress.

You can see a Master Schedule indicating which visiting salsa stars are offering private lessons and their general availability here.

Anya Katsevman

Jorge Contreras is among the stars who will be performing at the 2009 Seattle Salsa Congress. SeaLatin is pleased to offer you a brief biography, along with some information about private lessons below. Feel free to comment on her bio at the bottom of this page.

Private Lessons

Friday   Saturday   Sunday  
8:00   8:00   8:00  
9:00   9:00   9:00  
10:00   10:00   10:00  
11:00   11:00   11:00  
12:00   12:00   12:00  
1:00   1:00   1:00  
2:00   2:00   2:00  
3:00   3:30 3:30
4:00   4:00 W 4:00 W
5:00   5:00   5:00  
6:00   6:00   6:00  
7:00   7:00   7:00  
8:00   8:00   8:00  
W = Teaching a Workshop
P = Performance
E = Evening Dance
L = Booked for Private Lesson
O = Other Commitments

Did you know that many performers offer private lessons during salsa congresses? Naturally, you're going to have to contact each salsero to arrange a private lesson. They will also be able to give you all the details.

However, I’ve begun your homework by contacting all the salsa stars who will be offering workshops and performances at the 2009 Seattle Salsa Congress and gathering as much information as they’re willing to share.

Ms. Katsevman is apparently interested in giving private lessons. She said I could post her e-mail address here: dusya53@aol.com I don’s know exactly what times she’s available, but note that she’s teaching a couple workshops at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

I’ll update this post if I learn any more details. In addition, Ms. Katsevman has been invited to post on this blog occasionally, keeping the community up to date on her availability and any changes to her schedule.

Remember, this is not an official schedule, and Ms. Katsevman’s schedule could change. Please contact her if you’re interested in taking a private lesson from her.

Please try to schedule lessons as far in advance as possible, and please don’t call her while she’s teaching a workshop or otherwise engaged. If you use this information to help you schedule a private appointment, please let Ms. Katsevman know. If this project is successful, I may do it again during the next Seattle Salsa Congress.

You can see a Master Schedule indicating which visiting salsa stars are offering private lessons and their general availability here.

Vassili

Vassili is not a superstar in the world of entertainment - but don’t tell his students.

• Seattle
• Native of Greece
• Birthday?
• Website?
• Facebook?
• MySpace?

Though he didn’t start studying salsa - the dance he’s most closely associated with - until he was an adult, Vassili has been a performer for over twenty years.

Vassili learned music while growing up on the Greek island of Paros. He began performing as a teen, moving to Los Angeles when he was eighteen. There, Vassili experimented with acting, appearing in such movies as Hook and Falling Down, as well as numerous spots in the TV series The Wonder Years, among others.

Later, Vassili moved to Seattle, where he founded the “world music ensemble” Children of the Revolution in 1999. A unique blend of Spanish guitar - Vassili can play flamenco - Latin rhythms and multilingual songs contributed to the band’s popularity. Children of the Revolution has performed all over the world and even recorded a duet with Ann Wilson, of Heart. (In 2003, one reported speculated that ‘Revolution’ -- a tight band with members from all over the map -- was on the verge of a national breakthrough and could become “the next world-beat craze [to] come out of Seattle.”)

For Vassili, dance was a natural progression, and he tackled it with the flair he’s known for. He took his first salsa lesson in 2000 and quickly rose to the top ranks, winning the “Reno Dance Sensation” Salsa competition two years in a row. As one bio states, “His dancing combines the powerful and rhythmic body movement of Cuban and New York salsa, with textures of flamenco and hip hop.” Vassili has also taught and performed around the world, though his local dance school, Salsa Con Todo, is currently a big part of his life.

Vassili has traveled to Colombia and Cuba to study salsa and Afro-Cuban rumba. And his studies range from footwork to libraries, as he has a keen interest in the entire Latin dance culture. (Did I mention that Vassili speaks Spanish?)

A close look at Vassili’s artistic forays reveals a possible interest in politics. Children of the Revolution recorded a song titled “Guantanamo,” and Salsa Con Todo’s website features a quote that I had to steal for my own - “A revolution without dance is a revolution not worth having.”

In fact, I believe Latin music is living proof that politics doesn’t have to be boring and sleazy - but that’s another story...

His talents as an actor, singer, flamenco guitarist and dancer contribute to Vassili’s stature as an instructor. However, one has to wonder if being spread out so thin also holds him back. If so, that may be fortunate for the salsa community, for it would be a shame to lose such an artistic firebrand to the big screen.

P.S. No, I do not know Vassili’s last name.

Private Lessons

Friday   Saturday   Sunday  
8:00   8:00   8:00  
9:00   9:00   9:00  
10:00   10:00   10:00  
11:00   11:00   11:00  
12:00   12:00   12:00  
1:00   1:00   1:00  
2:00   2:00   2:00  
3:00   3:00   3:00  
4:00   4:00   4:00  
5:00   5:00   5:00  
6:00   6:00   6:00  
7:00   7:00   7:00  
8:00   8:00   8:00  
W = Teaching a Workshop
P = Performance
E = Evening Dance
L = Booked for Private Lesson
O = Other Commitments

Did you know that many visiting salsa stars offer private lessons? Naturally, you're going to have to contact each salsero to arrange a private lesson. They will also be able to give you all the details.

However, I’ve begun your homework by contacting all the salsa stars who will be offering workshops and performances at the 2009 Seattle Salsa Congress and gathering as much information as they’re willing to share.

I haven’t yet learned if Vassili will be giving private lessons during the congress. However, my best guess is he will be - unless he’s already booked up. Of course, you can take private lessons from Vassili long after the Seattle Salsa Congress, since he lives and teaches in Seattle!

I’ll update this post if I learn any details. In addition, Vassili has been invited to post on this blog occasionally, keeping the community up to date on her availability and any changes to his schedule.

Remember, this is not an official schedule, and Vassili’s schedule could change. Please contact him if you’re interested in taking a private lesson from him. I don’t have permission to post his phone number or e-mail address, but you can find contact information on his Website.

Please try to schedule lessons as far in advance as possible, and please don’t call him while he’s teaching or otherwise engaged. If you use this information to help you schedule a private appointment, please let Vassili know. If this project is successful, I may do it again during the next Seattle Salsa Congress.

You can see a Master Schedule indicating which visiting salsa stars are offering private lessons and their general availability here.

Donna Wild

Donna Wild is among the stars who will be performing at the 2009 Seattle Salsa Congress. SeaLatin is pleased to offer you a brief biography, along with some information about private lessons below. Feel free to comment on her bio at the bottom of this page.

Private Lessons

Friday   Saturday   Sunday  
Noon   Noon   Noon  
1:00   1:00   1:00  
2:00   2:00   2:00  
3:00   3:00   3:00  
4:00   4:00   4:00  
5:00   5:00   5:00  
6:00   6:00   6:00  
7:00   7:00   7:00  
8:00   8:00   8:00  
W = Teaching a Workshop
P = Performance
E = Evening Dance
L = Booked for Private Lesson
O = Other Commitments

Did you know that many performers offer private lessons during salsa congresses? Naturally, you're going to have to contact each salsero to arrange a private lesson. They will also be able to give you all the details.

However, I’ve begun your homework by contacting all the salsa stars who will be offering workshops and performances at the 2009 Seattle Salsa Congress and gathering as much information as they’re willing to share.

Donna Wild says she’ll be available for private lessons from 1 p.m. on during the Seattle Salsa Congress. I’m guessing she’ll be participating in the evening dances and therefore won’t be available after 8 or 9 p.m. - but I could be wrong. Check with her if you want to schedule a lesson that late.

I have no information about fees, locations, etc. You can discuss all the details with Ms. Wild.

I’ll update this post occasionally. In addition, Ms. Wild has been invited to post on this blog occasionally, keeping the community up to date on her availability and any changes to her schedule.

Remember, this is not an official schedule, and Ms. Wild’s schedule could change. Please contact her if you’re interested in taking a private lesson from her. I don’t have permission to post her phone number or e-mail address, but you can find contact information on her Website.

Please try to schedule lessons as far in advance as possible, and please don’t call her while she’s teaching a student or otherwise engaged. If you use this information to help you schedule a private appointment, please let Ms. Wild know. If this project is successful, I may do it again during the next Seattle Salsa Congress.

You can see a Master Schedule indicating which visiting salsa stars are offering private lessons and their general availability here.

Alma Latina

The Alma Latina Dance Company is the result of Gabriela Equiz’ desire to create a performing arts school in Tijuana similar to the one she enjoyed as a child in Mexico City. She launched the school in 2005 and quickly added Sergio Jasso as a partner.

• Tijuana, San Diego, Los Angeles
Website
• Facebook?
• MySpace?

Equiz and Jasso began teaching in San Diego in 2008. Later, they began teaching in Los Angeles as well.

The school focuses on musicality, training dancers to switch between On1 and On2, depending on what the music calls for. Their choreographies typically incorporate ballet, ballroom, modern dance, flamenco, hip hop or tap.

Though Gaby (as she is nicknamed) and Sergio teach all ages, their kids dance troupe has become especially well known. In an October 2009 interview with Ritmo Bello, Gaby said the school’s Mission statement “is to connect kids to culture using Latin music and dance to promote discipline, pride, health, and the history of Latin culture all while having fun.”

Alma Latina has performed at all the big West Coast salsa congresses and also travels regularly to “the Acapulco Congress, the Mexico National Championships in Mexico City, and the World Salsa Championships.” They hope to visit Europe in 2010.

In 2009, the company claimed six first places and six second places in national and international competitions.

But it isn’t all about competition. San Diego students have commented on the warmth of their Tijuana studio culture, where they all kiss hello and goodbye. Neighborhood parties, socials and nearby taco stands round out the social experience.

See a video of some Alma Latina students competing at the 2007 LA Salsa Congress.

Sergio Jasso

Sergio Jasso is among the stars who will be performing at the 2009 Seattle Salsa Congress. SeaLatin is pleased to offer you a brief biography, along with some information about private lessons below. Feel free to comment on his bio at the bottom of this page.

Private Lessons

Friday   Saturday   Sunday  
8:00   8:00   8:00  
9:00   9:00   9:00  
10:00   10:00   10:00  
11:00   11:00   11:00  
12:00   12:00   12:00  
1:00   1:00   1:00  
2:00   2:00 W 2:00 W
5:30 W 3:00   3:00  
4:00 W 4:00   4:00  
5:00   5:00   5:00  
6:00   6:00   6:00  
7:00   7:00   7:00  
8:00   8:00   8:00  
W = Teaching a Workshop
P = Performance
E = Evening Dance
L = Booked for Private Lesson
O = Other Commitments

Did you know that many visiting salsa stars offer private lessons? Naturally, you're going to have to contact each salsero to arrange a private lesson. They will also be able to give you all the details.

However, I’ve begun your homework by contacting all the salsa stars who will be offering workshops and performances at the 2009 Seattle Salsa Congress and gathering as much information as they’re willing to share.

I haven’t yet learned if Sergio Jasso will be giving private lessons. All I know is that he’s teaching three workshops during the Seattle Salsa Congress.

I’ll update this post if I learn any details. In addition, Mr. Jasso has been invited to post on this blog occasionally, keeping the community up to date on his availability and any changes to his schedule.

Remember, this is not an official schedule, and Mr. Jasso’s schedule could change. Please contact him if you’re interested in taking a private lesson from him. I don’t have permission to post his phone number or e-mail address, but you can find contact information on his Website.

Please try to schedule lessons as far in advance as possible, and please don’t call him while he’s teaching a workshop or otherwise engaged. If you use this information to help you schedule a private appointment, please let Mr. Jasso know. If this project is successful, I may do it again during the next Seattle Salsa Congress.

You can see a Master Schedule indicating which visiting salsa stars are offering private lessons and their general availability here.

Gabriela Equiz

Gabriela Equiz is among the stars who will be performing at the 2009 Seattle Salsa Congress. SeaLatin is pleased to offer you a brief biography, along with some information about private lessons below. Feel free to comment on her bio at the bottom of this page.

Private Lessons

Friday   Saturday   Sunday  
8:00   8:00   8:00  
9:00   9:00   9:00  
10:00   10:00   10:00  
11:00   11:00   11:00  
12:00   12:00   12:00  
1:00   1:00   1:00  
2:00   2:00 W 2:00 W
5:30 W 3:00   3:00  
4:00 W 4:00   4:00  
5:00   5:00   5:00  
6:00   6:00   6:00  
7:00   7:00   7:00  
8:00   8:00   8:00  
W = Teaching a Workshop
P = Performance
E = Evening Dance
L = Booked for Private Lesson
O = Other Commitments

Did you know that many visiting salsa stars offer private lessons? Naturally, you're going to have to contact each salsero to arrange a private lesson. They will also be able to give you all the details.

However, I’ve begun your homework by contacting all the salsa stars who will be offering workshops and performances at the 2009 Seattle Salsa Congress and gathering as much information as they’re willing to share.

Gabriela Equiz told me she will be available for private lessons. You can contact her at (619) 600-5536 or Info@almalatinadancecompany.com.

Unfortunately, her partner, Sergio Jasso, wont be able to make it to the Seattle Salsa Congress. However, he will be replaced by Ms. Equiz performance partner, Martin Gonzalez (rough English translation). In fact, the Pro Team itself will be in Seattle and will be available for private lessons even while Equiz and Gonzalez are teaching workshops.

I’ll update this post if I learn any more details. In addition, Ms. Equiz has been invited to post on this blog occasionally, keeping the community up to date on her availability and any changes to her schedule.

Remember, this is not an official schedule, and Ms. Equiz’ schedule could change. Please contact her if you’re interested in private lessons.

Please try to schedule lessons as far in advance as possible, and please don’t call her while she’s teaching a workshop or otherwise engaged. If you use this information to help you schedule a private appointment, please let Ms. Equiz know. If this project is successful, I may do it again during the next Seattle Salsa Congress.

You can see a Master Schedule indicating which visiting salsa stars are offering private lessons and their general availability here.

Kimberly Nodora

Though not as well known, Kimberly Nodora regularly soars to greater heights than her partner, Alex Lee. Just check out these videos (One, Two, Three). How does one survive being tossed around like that, anyway?

• San Francisco?
• Native of...
• Birthday?
• Website?
• Facebook?
• MySpace?

Unfortunately, I haven’t yet found much information about Ms. Nodora. I know she works as a nurse by day, but they don’t teach the wild stunts she revels in in medical school.

Nodora began dancing “cabaret salsa” in 2001, dancing with the San Franciso-based Latin Symbolics (2001-2003), then with La Evolucion Dance Company (2003-2004). Nodora also performed at national and international congresses before she teamed up with Lee in 2006.

The dynamic duo won 1st Place at the San Francisco Congress International Championship Cabaret Division in 2007.

Private Lessons

Friday   Saturday   Sunday  
8:00   8:00   8:00  
9:00   9:00   9:00  
10:00   10:00   10:00  
11:00   11:00   11:00  
12:00   12:00   12:00  
1:00   1:00   1:00  
2:00   2:00   2:00  
3:00   3:00   3:00  
4:00   4:00   4:00  
5:00   5:00 W 5:00 W
6:00   6:00   6:00  
7:00   7:00   7:00  
8:00   8:00   8:00  
W = Teaching a Workshop
P = Performance
E = Evening Dance
L = Booked for Private Lesson
O = Other Commitments

Did you know that many visiting salsa stars offer private lessons? Naturally, you're going to have to contact each salsero to arrange a private lesson. They will also be able to give you all the details.

However, I’ve begun your homework by contacting all the salsa stars who will be offering workshops and performances at the 2009 Seattle Salsa Congress and gathering as much information as they’re willing to share.

I haven’t yet learned if Kimberly Nodora will be giving private lessons. All I know is that she’s teaching a couple workshops at 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

I’ll update this post if I learn any details. In addition, Ms. Nodora has been invited to post on this blog occasionally, keeping the community up to date on her availability and any changes to her schedule.

Remember, this is not an official schedule, and Ms. Nodora’s schedule could change. Please contact her if you’re interested in taking a private lesson from her. (Unfortunately, I don’t even know how to contact her yet.)

Please try to schedule lessons as far in advance as possible, and please don’t call her while she’s teaching a workshop or otherwise engaged.

You can see a Master Schedule indicating which visiting salsa stars are offering private lessons and their general availability here.

Alex Lee

Watching his sensational, sometimes nearly unbelievable lifts, one might think Alex Lee has salsa confused with martial arts. Is this guy related to the late Bruce Lee?

• San Francisco
• Native of USA
• Born: April 9, 1969
Website
• Facebook?
• MySpace?

In fact, Lee is a Krav Maga instructor. For the uninitiated, Krav Maga is a martial art. After watching an Alex Lee video (try this or this), you’ll understand what the words “Zero Gravity Salsa” on his website mean.

The athletic Lee is also a fan of hip hop, break dancing and, of course, salsa, which he has been dancing since 1999. He began performing tricks in 2000, and his high energy repertoire catapulted Lee and his partner, Chi Le, to stardom. (Salsa Trivia: Alex Lee and Chi Le were both born on April 9, 1969.)

What does it take to partner with a force like Lee? Born in Vietnam, Chi boasted a background in gymnastics, along with springboard and platform diving. She also began studying the Chinese martial art Wushu.

Lee and Chi won the Professional On1 Salsa Competition at the San Francisco International Salsa Congress, along with numerous other awards and honors listed on Lee’s website. When Chi retired in 2006, he continued exploring the stratosphere with Kimberly Nodora.

Described by one author as the “Bay Area’s Salsa Superhero,” Lee, an Aries, can’t even slow down out of the spotlight; he’s served as a firefighter and paramedic for the San Jose Fire Department since 1997. (Lee admits he isn’t fearless when it comes to fire, knowing each one could be his last.)

But Lee wasn’t born superhuman. He began weight training in high school because he was sensitive about his scrawny appearance.

More trivia: It took Lee and Chi twelve months to get one of their most complex tricks “from floor to stage.” And if you’re wondering how many times he dropped his partner on the floor while practicing, the answer is zero...though Lee admits he’s come close.

If you’re confused by Krav Maga and Wushu, there’s a more user-friendly term for the lifts and tricks showcased by Lee: cabaret-style salsa. You can learn more about it by taking classes or private lessons from Lee, or by purchasing his Lifts and Tricks DVD.

Please don’t try it without competent supervision, preferably by a professional salsero or a paramedic.

Private Lessons

Friday   Saturday   Sunday  
8:00   8:00   8:00  
9:00   9:00   9:00  
10:00   10:00   10:00  
11:00   11:00   11:00  
12:00   12:00   12:00  
1:00   1:00   1:00  
2:00   2:00   2:00  
3:00   3:00   3:00  
4:00   4:00   4:00  
5:00   5:00 W 5:00 W
6:00   6:00   6:00  
7:00   7:00   7:00  
8:00   8:00   8:00  
W = Teaching a Workshop
P = Performance
E = Evening Dance
L = Booked for Private Lesson
O = Other Commitments

Did you know that many visiting salsa stars offer private lessons? Naturally, you're going to have to contact each salsero to arrange a private lesson. They will also be able to give you all the details.

However, I’ve begun your homework by contacting all the salsa stars who will be offering workshops and performances at the 2009 Seattle Salsa Congress and gathering as much information as they’re willing to share.

I haven’t yet learned if Alex Lee will be giving private lessons. All I know is that he’s teaching a couple workshops at 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

I’ll update this post if I learn any details. In addition, Mr. Lee has been invited to post on this blog occasionally, keeping the community up to date on his availability and any changes to her schedule.

Remember, this is not an official schedule, and Mr. Lee’s schedule could change. Please contact him if you’re interested in taking a private lesson from him. I don’t have permission to post his phone number or e-mail address, but you can find contact information on his Website.

Please try to schedule lessons as far in advance as possible, and please don’t call him while he’s teaching a workshop or otherwise engaged.

You can see a Master Schedule indicating which visiting salsa stars are offering private lessons and their general availability here.

Alien Ramirez

Alien Ramirez is among the stars who will be performing at the 2009 Seattle Salsa Congress. SeaLatin is pleased to offer you a brief biography, along with some information about private lessons below. Feel free to comment on her bio at the bottom of this page.

Private Lessons

Friday   Saturday   Sunday  
8:00   8:00   8:00  
9:00   9:00   9:00  
10:00   10:00 W 10:00  
11:00   11:00 W 11:00  
12:00   12:00 W 12:00  
1:00   1:00   1:00  
2:00   2:00   2:00  
3:00   3:00   3:00  
4:00   4:00   4:00  
5:00   5:00   5:00  
6:00   6:00   6:00  
7:00   7:00   7:00  
8:00   8:00   8:00  
W = Teaching a Workshop
P = Performance
E = Evening Dance
L = Booked for Private Lesson
O = Other Commitments

Did you know that many visiting salsa stars offer private lessons? Naturally, you're going to have to contact each salsero to arrange a private lesson. They will also be able to give you all the details.

However, I’ve begun your homework by contacting all the salsa stars who will be offering workshops and performances at the 2009 Seattle Salsa Congress and gathering as much information as they’re willing to share.

Alien Ramirez told me she will be giving private lessons. Her e-mail address is Alienrocio@gmail.com, cell phone (818) 571-7059.

I’ll update this post if I learn any details. In addition, Ms. Ramirez has been invited to post on this blog occasionally, keeping the community up to date on her availability and any changes to her schedule.

Remember, this is not an official schedule, and Ms. Ramirez’ schedule could change. Please contact her if you’re interested in taking a private lesson from her.

Please try to schedule lessons as far in advance as possible, and please don’t call her while she’s teaching a workshop or otherwise engaged.

You can see a Master Schedule indicating which visiting salsa stars are offering private lessons and their general availability here.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Alicia Silvers

(There is no Alicia Silvers. This is just an example to illustrate a project I'm working on. If there was an Alicia Silvers, I would 1. publish her biography here, 2. then move it to www.sealatin.com/People/Alicia_Silvers and use this page to allow people to comment on her biography and to use the information below to help them book private lessons with Ms. Silvers.)

Private Lessons

Schedule for
Alicia Silvers
Nov. 25-Dec. 1
Friday Monday
8:00   8:00  
9:00   9:00  
10:00   10:00  
11:00   11:00  
12:00   12:00  
1:00 L 1:00  
2:00 L 2:00  
3:00   3:00  
4:00   4:00  
5:00   5:00  
6:00   6:00  
7:00   7:00  
8:00   8:00  
Saturday Tuesday
8:00   8:00  
9:00   9:00  
10:00 W 10:00  
11:00 W    
12:00 W    
1:00      
2:00      
3:00      
4:00      
5:00      
6:00      
7:00      
8:00      
Sunday    
8:00      
9:00      
10:00      
11:00 O    
12:00      
1:00      
2:00      
3:00      
4:00      
5:00      
6:00      
7:00      
8:00      
W = Teaching a Workshop
P = Performance
E = Evening Dance
L = Booked for Private Lesson
O = Other Commitments

Did you know that many visiting salsa stars offer private lessons? Naturally, you're going to want to contact each salsero to arrange a private lesson. They will also be able to give you all the details.

However, I've begun your homework by contacting all the salsa stars who will be offering workshops and performances at the 2009 Seattle Salsa Congress and gathering as much information as they're willing to share.

Alicia Silvers says she will be in Seattle from Friday, Nov. 25 through Tuesday morning (Dec. 1). She will not be available for private lessons during the hours that have been blacked out in the table at left. She also said she isn't interested in offering private lessons before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.

Of course, she can't give private lessons when she's teaching workshops - (W) under Saturday in the table - or during other commitmens (O).

She may be available for private lessons at all other times listed on the table.

Ms. Silvers has been invited to post on this blog occasionally, keeping the community up to date on her availability and any changes to her schedule. I'll try to update the table at left accordingly.

Remember, this is not an official schedule, and Ms. Silvers' schedule could change. Please contact Alicia Silvers if you're interested in taking a private lesson from her. She says you can contact her by phone at (518) 240-2887 or via e-mail at alicia.silvers@gmail.com. Please try to schedule lessons as far in advance as possible, and please don't call her while she's teaching a workshop or otherwise engaged.

You can see a Master Schedule indicating which visiting salsa stars are offering private lessons and their general availability here.

Seattle Salsa Congress Schedule

This page is still under construction. Please check back soon!


WORKSHOPS
  Crystal Ballroom Emerald Ballroom
  Class Instructor Style Level Class Instructor Style Level
Friday                
10:00 Musicallity RicaSalsa -- 1 Spinning (tech) Liz Lira -- All
11:30 Ladies Styling Shani Talmor On2 All Bachata Bachata Caliente -- 2
1:00 LUNCH              
2:00 Lead & Follow Luis & Anya On2 2 Spin Connection Abel & Zulmara On1 2
3:30 Body Isolation Sekou Miller On2 2 Partnering Connection Alma Latina On1 2
5:00 Couple Spinning Jason Molina On2 2 Couple Spinning Cristian & Liz On1 2
Saturday                
10:00 Musicality RicaSalsa On1 2 Ladies Styling Alien Ramirez On1 All
11:30 Afro-Cuban Influence (tech) Alien Ramirez -- 2 Bachata Bachata Caliente -- 2
1:00 LUNCH              
2:00 Turn Patterns Jason Molina On2 2 Turn Patterns Alma Latina On1 2
3:30 Sexy Partnerwork Luis & Anya On2 2 Sexy Partnerwork Cristian & Liz On1 2
5:00 Latin Jazz Sekou Miller On2 2 Lift & Tricks (tech) Alex & Kim On1/2 1,2
Sunday                
10:00 Men's Styling Cristian Oviedo On1/2 2 Ladies Styling Zulmara On1 2,3
11:30 Musicality RicaSalsa -- 2 Bachata Bachata Caliente -- 3
1:00 LUNCH              
2:00 Couple Styling Jason Molina On2 2 Couple Styling Alma Latina On1 2
3:30 Couple Styling Luis & Anya On2 2 Couple Styling Abel & Zulmara On1 2
5:00 Choreography Sekou Miller On2 2,3 Lifts & Tricks (tech) Alex & Kim -- 3
 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Salsa Politics

From Slavery to Guantanamo Bay

I love music and dance, and I’ve also become fascinated by politics. In fact, I’ve become accustomed to looking for politics all around me, so it isn’t surprising that I found it in Latin music.

That will doubtless come as a shock to people who think Latin music is about nothing more than sensuous fun. Surely, Latin music can’t be political!

In fact, Latin music, as we know it, wouldn’t exist without the African slave trade. That’s a very heavy political topic itself. In the mid-twentieth century, blacks and Latinos were banned from New York City’s Palladium, which had become a beacon for Latin music and dance in the U.S. Coming full circle, I recently read about some Cuban musical group that performed in Seattle - after being banned during the George W. Bush years. I’d say all the above make salsa very political.

However, being relatively new to Latin music, I really know very little about what I loosely refer to as “salsa politics.” In fact, my knowledge of this topic can just about be summed up by the few following paragraphs.

The New Song Movement

Nueva canción (Spanish for “new song”) is a movement in Latin American music that originated in South America’s Southern Cone (Argentina, Chile and Uruguay) during the 1950s and 1960s. Combining traditional Latin American folk music and some popular rock music with lyrics that were often politicized, it became popular throughout Latin America.

These protest/social songs focus on poverty, human rights, imperialism, democracy and religion. They were most popular in Chile.

In 1973, the genre’s growth was harshly impacted by the Chilean coup, which drove the movement underground. Victor Jara - perhaps the New Song Movement’s most popular figure - was tortured and killed by the new right-wing regime led by General Augusto Pinochet. Other groups fled Chile. Pinochet’s government banned many traditional Andean instruments in its efforts to suppress the Nueva Canción movement.

Rubén Blades

Rubén Blades wears many hats, though he’s best known as a Panamanian salsa songwriter and singer. His mother’s great uncle, Juan Bedillo de Luna, was active in the Cuban revolutionary movement against Spain, so it isn’t surprising that Blades also has an interest in politics.

In fact, Blades is also a lawyer and politician, having served in government. He even received 18% of the vote when he ran for the office of President in 1994. As you might have guessed, Blades was also a pioneer in the Nueva Canción movement.

From Wikipedia: “Blades’ first notable hit was a song on the 1977 album Metiendo Mano that he had composed in 1968: ‘Pablo Pueblo,’ a meditation about a working-class father who returns to his home after a long day at work. The song later became his unofficial campaign song when he ran for president of Panama.”

Blades wrote another song (Plantación Adentro?) which addressed the brutal treatment of American Indians in colonial times. Many people consider Blades’ song “Patria” (Fatherland) their second national anthem.

Seattle

I’m sure there’s enough information on this topic to write an encyclopedia. It will just take me some time to learn more about it.

In the meantime, my left-wing brain has been nursing a wicked thought. Seattle boasts a thriving salsa community, but the city can’t begin to compare to New York City, Miami, San Francisco or LA. I wouldn’t expect to see any new dance styles invented in Seattle in the near future, so how could the Emerald City ever make a blip on the radar screen of Latin music and dance?

Surely not through politicized salsa music. After all, Seattle is virtually owned by Bill Gates. Seattle’s Discovery Institute is the virtual capital of corporate creationism. Seattle is the home of grunge music, which is almost the polar opposite of Latin music - dreary, gutless, defeatist.

But all things change in time. As our economic train wreck continues, might Seattleites one day give up their trademark “deal with it” apathy and embrace political activism? Could they even reject grunge in favor of a brighter, less spineless musical genre, like salsa?

Just imagine if someone in Seattle wrote a smash salsa hit bashing Bill Gates. That would truly be both a musical and socio-political milestone.

One Latinish group based in Seattle, Children of the Revolution, has released a CD titled Life, Love (and Guantanamo Bay . . .), which includes the song Guantanamo Bay. The group’s members include one of Seattle’s leading salsa teachers. In fact, this is another example of Latin music coming full circle, from the African slave trade, which was combined with Spanish music in Cuba to form what we known as Latin music, to Guantanamo Bay, a U.S. facility that treats people like slaves on Cuban soil.

But what excites me more than this album is the tantalizing possibility that it might be an omen of things to come.

* * * * *

Can you contribute anything to this topic? Are there any political Latin albums, songs, singers or songwriters I should know about? What are your views on this topic? And if you’re a salsa fan and a political animal, do you love Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez or hate him? (There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground here.)

Please share your ideas with us!